French electronics company Thales has announced the development of a new variant of its multifunction targeting pod, Damocles XF, to provide naval air forces with enhanced communication and identification systems.

The new target designation tool, announced at the Paris Air Show, integrates new communication means and an enhanced identification system, which will enhance effectiveness irrespective of the environment and is expected to be operative in 2012.

At short range, including in urban areas, the targeting pod relies not only on guidance precision, but also on positive day and night identification.

For this reason the Damocles XF will have high-resolution infrared (IR) imagery and a new day-light camera.

In joint operations with close air support, the Damocles XF comes equipped with new data transmission capability to facilitate data and video exchange with ground troops.

The data liaison system will be completely interoperable with the systems used by forces engaged today in joint operations.